By Chris Maza
EAST LONGMEADOW – Governor’s Councilor Michael Albano recently announced his intentions to run for re-election for the Governor’s Council’s Eighth District.
Albano, a Democrat, was first elected to the position, defeating Republican Michael Franco, on Nov. 6, 2012.
Albano, a Longmeadow resident whose public affairs consulting firm, Michael Albano & Associates, Inc,. and councilor’s office are located in East Longmeadow, was mayor of Springfield from 1996 to 2004.
Prior to that, he was a Springfield School Committee member and City Councilor. He is a former probation officer for the Westfield Trial Court and also served three terms on the Parole Board and Governor’s Advisory Board of Pardons.
“My goal is to utilize my background and experience to insure the most qualified nominees of the Governor are confirmed to these important positions,” he said.
Albano said in his announcement that while the Eighth District position on the Governor’s Council, the only one in Western Massachusetts, is not one that is particularly popular, it has a significant effect on the lives of residents.
“While the Governor’s Council is a little known government entity, its influence is far reaching – from the administration of justice by the confirmation of judges to the Parole Board to the Industrial Accident Board to the Appellate Tax Board – affecting citizens in a variety of ways," he said.
During his year on the council, Albano took part in 60 hearings, including nominations by Gov. Deval Patrick for 30 judges, five clerk magistrates, three Parole Board members, 10 nominations to the Industrial Accident Board, nine public administrators, two public administrators and an Industrial Accident Reviewing Board.
In July 2013, Albano was also part of a lawsuit against the Patrick Administration after Pittsfield attorney Michael McCarthy was denied a judgeship by the council prior to Albano’s election, and lobbied for his appointment.
In addition, he noted the council acted on more than 1,000 notaries public and justices of the peace.
With this experience, Albano said he was prepared to take on significant challenges facing the council in 2014, including the possibility of filling multiple Supreme Judicial Court vacancies in addition to approximately 75 vacancies caused by mandatory and early retirements of sitting judges.
Albano said he also welcomed the opportunity to work toward a positive relationship between the council and whoever wins the 2014 gubernatorial election, stating, “With Gov. Patrick leaving office in January, it is my intent to assist in a smooth transition.”